According to a survey,
76% of married men in India believe that not helping with laundry at home still makes them a great role model for children .
2 out of every three children think that household work is a mother’s job .
65% married men in India agree that their children replicate their behavior at home .
( Based on data generated from men, women and children(age 10to 14) who were in agreement with the above statements as per a 4-city (542 person) survey conducted by an independent third party agency in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad in January 2016 ) source
Women are now omnipresent ,which is a good thing considering they were not even considered worthy of voting rights in The Unites States of America till 1940 and Saudi Arabia giving them this right only in December 2015 .
Does that mean we as women have now a better life , are we living the dream?
Well , unfortunately the answer is a big “No”.
The problem lies in the fact that not only are today’s women working full-time, but they are also fulfilling their traditional role at home as moms, wives, and caregivers of aging parents or in-laws. Sometimes even doubling up as cooks, cleaners , nurses , teachers etc. As work hours increase, along with financial stresses due to economic downturn, many women are having a tough time coping. It is worse when one has to work from home, no one takes a women’s work seriously , she is supposed to keep flitting between the online office and homely duties.
I am no male basher and genuinely believe in equality or at least some semblance of equality wherever and whenever possible , yet it is now time to challenge the traditional roles that have been accorded to both the sexes .Traditionally males were the hunters and gatherers and the females took care of the domestic chores .As time passed ,men progressed from hunters to crop growers and then offices but most of the females remained relegated to their kitchens and laundry rooms.
A good friend of mine , left her full time corporate job and switched to part time freelancing to take care of her family after she had her kids. I see her juggling housework ,her children and also racing against time to meet deadlines while her husband was able to give full attention to his career. On top of it ,he would sometimes complain about how hard he had to work as he had to bear the burden of being the main bread winner for the family while she chose to sit at home and have a leisurely life .
I wonder if roles could have been reversed here ,if the complaining husband could sit at home and take care of the children and the household while she went out to work !
I agree that women are better nurturers and care givers ,when it comes to children and the elderly, it is considered a natural choice for the woman to take a lead.
But are not our males entering the hospitality industry too (hotels , flight stewards etc. ) and doing a very good job too.
Just as women have stormed into the boardrooms , it is now time for our men to make their presence felt into the female bastions namely the kitchen and the bathroom.
To snigger at a male seen chopping vegetables or washing clothes , is a mindset which needs to be changed .A man who from his own free will, chooses to help out his wife or mother is not to be seen as effeminate or to be pitied as “hen-pecked” rather I have immense respect for such men for exhibiting the courage to defy stereotypes.
A boy playing with a kitchen set or a Barbie doll is immediately rectified by worried elders .I say let them choose what they like and learn the ropes early .So many successful men are Chefs and fashion designers by profession!
It is my effort to try and make both my children do supposedly ”male” (read changing bulbs ,going out to get stuff from shops etc. …) and female tasks ( read helping in kitchen or in the laundry, laying out the dinner etc. …)
I do not believe in either Superman or Superwoman, but I do believe sharing is the way to go … to accomplish those dreams.